Featured Author: Stewart Baker
Sorry for the delay! The Tuesday Featured Author blog did not post on time on Tuesday. We had a technical problem.
Please excuse the delay. Our Featured Author this week is Stewart Baker.
1) Your name
Stewart Baker. My last name on here is formulaic: (mother’s maiden name + wife’s mother’s maiden name) + (last name + wife’s maiden name)
2) Titles of the work you have on Bookrix (Please provide the link to the book cover)
“World Weird Web” – http://www.bookrix.com/_title-en-stewart-flintonlaubakersmith-world-weird-web
This is a pairing of two “short short” stories about weird things and the Internet. A longer version of the story called “The Newly Edited Man” has since been published in Ruthless Peoples Magazine, here: http://ruthlesspeoples.com/node/5?ID=1
3) What is your writing method? Do you wake up super early in the morning? Do you burn the midnight oil drinking coffee to stay awake while penning your passion?
I am allergic to most times before noon, so I usually write at night for a few hours a day. Most days, I also spend my lunch hour writing after I’ve filled my face with food.
4) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off since I was a child (I’m turning 27 in July), but I’ve only been doing it seriously and with intent to get published for about a year and a half now.
5) How do you maintain your regular job while writing?
Free time? Who needs it! Fortunately, I’m one of those people who enjoys being busy, because in addition to my full-time job as a librarian and the 3-4 hours a day I spend writing fiction, I also work as a freelance article writer, play around on the Internet, and create websites both for fun and for other people’s money. In the fall, I’ll be juggling all this with graduate school, as I go back (again), this time for an MA in English Literature. My wife is very understanding and does not complain (much) about this, or I would be in trouble!
6) Do you have special places where you go to write?
Anywhere that there’s a flat surface and a chair is preferable, but I can write more or less anywhere that they’ll let me take in some paper and a pen. Or, failing that, a laptop.
7) Do you have any quirks when writing? Do you need to shut off your phone for the weekend or stay away from family and friends?
Something which probably sets me apart from a lot of people who write is that I do my rough drafts longhand and with a pen and paper. I’m a very fast typist (around 90 WPM), but I find that actually hinders my ability to be coherent most of the time. I do, however, use a computer for revision and editing purposes.
8a) What inspires you?
Mostly other writers. Philip K. Dick is a big influence, and so is Faulkner. Outside of things literary, I suppose I’m “inspired” by life’s weirdness in general. I’m also a pessimist, so many of my more serious stories (and some of my humorous ones) tend to be depressing, or at least stark.
9) I saw that your book is about the supernatural Internet. What got you into that subject? Do you work in Internet companies?
I work as a reference librarian and (tellingly) webmaster of the library website. I think what got me into the subject is the hated aphorism of “Write what you know.” I’ve been a denizen of the Internet since I was in my mid teens, and hope that my stories appeal to those in a similar situation (which is probably most people by now). The Internet is a daily part of a lot of people’s lives, so I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t featured more heavily in the works of published authors.
10) Do you want to make a living from your wordsmith skills or are you doing this for fun?
I would love to make a living from it.
11) What are your stories about? Are they fiction or non-fiction?
Most of what I write could be termed “genre” fiction. Specifically, fantasy or science fiction. I like to combine the weird and impossible with the realistic to create strange worlds which seem at the cusp of believability, but are at the same time disturbingly different. They are almost without exception fiction, so far as I know.
12) Do you have a lesson in your stories? Do you have a philosophical or moral mission you are showing in your work?
Probably the closest you could get to a lesson in most of my stuff is “Life often makes little sense.” If people take a lesson other than that from anything I write, more power to them! Both the stories in World Weird Web actually do have other lessons, I suppose. They’re sort of re-tellings of older, archetypical stories and focus in both cases on hubris.
13) What advice do you have for other authors?
Whatever happens, don’t stop writing. Whatever happens, don’t stop reading. And always wait until your food’s properly digested before you go swimming.
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